With Blog Networking It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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First off I apologize if my last post or recent comments haven’t been too insightful. After the weekend I dealt with a stomach flu that is making me feel rather out of it.

I’m pretty sure what happened was that I poured marinade onto my chicken part way through cooking but didn’t cook it long enough. I think I did something like that before and just didn’t learn my lesson. With any luck I’ll be recovered by tomorrow.

One thing’s for certain, I couldn’t miss my Wednesday blogging tips post. Here are some previous topics covered:

I know I’ve already covered blog networking, but in that post I concentrated mostly on different networking methods. This time around I’ll discuss how important it is to carefully choose who you network with. Blog networking is just too important to cover with only 1 post.

Blog Networking – It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

For some of you this will be a pretty relevant post as you return from FinCon where you got to meet the who’s who of the financial blogging scene. Some of you may have chosen to network more with your existing contacts or the more accessible bloggers. Either strategy can work well if executed right, but I prefer networking with the not so popular bloggers. I’ll explain why.

Keeping Networking Enjoyable

Early on I decided I wasn’t going to waste time making an effort with the egotistical bloggers, at least not when that ego gets obnoxious. The big reason is that usually they won’t even give the time of day to new bloggers. If they do, they’re probably not willing to link to a newish blog or share your posts socially. A lot of the well established bloggers rarely link out to any blogs.

The more psychological reason is that I just don’t enjoy reading obnoxious content about how much money they have saved up and why they think they’re better than everyone. I’d rather not be shaking my head while reading posts and leaving comments. Besides, I suspect their demographics may be different than someone who is preaching modesty.

When I started my blog I did try to comment everywhere in hopes of getting some advantage from those obnoxious bloggers, but these days I can’t bring myself to stoop to that level. I’ve got to stay true to my values.

Getting More Exposure Without Dilution

On those big blogs, they do have a ton of traffic, but how much exposure are you going to get from being one comment in 200+? It’s rather unlikely you’ll get your comment high enough to get direct traffic.

I guess I’m starting to develop a similar problem on my blog with the number of mentions in the link round ups and social sharing acknowledgement. I feel that I make decent effort to make up for that dilution by helping in other ways.

One of the blogs that actually sends me the most direct traffic gets very few comments from other bloggers. Obviously I’d rather not share which blog that is since it would really limit how much traffic I get from there.

Newer Bloggers Are More Appreciative

I find that when I help out newer bloggers they are much more willing to reciprocate the favor. This allows a much more beneficial relationship to develop earlier.

Plus since they are fairly new there is often a lot of things that they need help with. They might need some SEO tips, plugin suggestions or general marketing advice. I’ve helped enough new bloggers with stuff like that that the advice just rolls off my tongue.

Now try finding ways you can help an established blogger enough that it would make a difference to them. When they’ve got enough links and traffic built up, a tiny bit more is pretty inconsequential to them.

Once I went on skype with an established blogger and gave him a solid hour of advice about his website that directly competed with my own affiliate sites. Later when I asked for a return favor he had the nerve to say that he didn’t agree to give any kind of favors for all that advice. Thanks man.

Identifying New Blogger Potential

If you really want to get the most out of your blog networking, you should be thinking in terms of which blogs you think have the most potential. By building up a solid relationship with them before their blog takes off, you might be able to ride their coattails like a rap star’s entourage. There is a decent chance they will remember who helped them out the most early on.

When I say potential, I mean how entertaining is their writing, how much effort do they put into marketing and how much drive do they seem to have? If they’ve got those 3 qualities, their blog is much more likely to become truly successful.

Guessing a blogger’s potential is a bit like picking stocks though. Some won’t pan out due to unforeseen circumstances or others might get lucky and get a big break. So it might be worthwhile throwing in some ‘dark horse’ picks, especially if you genuinely like those bloggers.

Leveraging The Popular Blogs

With my strategy I plan to gradually transition to networking with some of the more popular blogs, provided they’re not total douchebags. Without this long term strategy I might be stunting the growth of my blog.

By the time I transition, my blog stats should be impressive enough to get those bloggers to take more notice. A link from a PR4 blog has the power to help them much more than one from a PR0 blog. They might also notice that they could leverage your Alexa rank perceived traffic or your social media following.

With those bigger bloggers I think you probably have to be more gradual with breaking the ice before asking for any favors. Get them to notice you via comments and/or social shares before cutting to the chase. Maybe even butter them up with some casual conversation via e-mail or twitter.

With those bigger blogs, you probably won’t just get a link for the hell of it. Instead you might have to pitch a good guest post idea or develop some kind of link bait that interests them enough to share

Why Content Is Not Truly King In Blog Marketing

If you read much SEO advice, you may have come across the line ‘content is king’. While that may be true to some extent, it is a king moving at a snail’s pace with few people even knowing he exists.

Strong content might generate some links, but in most cases, that content would be wasted without some solid blogger connections. It’s not like the Field of Dreams, where if you build it, they will come. No you’ve got to build it and then hustle for hours each week to get your name out there.

Some people would actually think I have a backwards ass blog plan since I am focusing much less on content early on and putting much more time into marketing. Personally I think it is working well so far. Over time when my blog gains momentum I’ll put more emphasis on content quality. That way much more people will actually read my best content. Also I’ll have more writing experience to produce that level of content.

Do you agree with my plan? Or am I breaking some golden rule by accepting so many guest posts and usually only writing one finance post per week?

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